My F45 8 Week Challenge Diary Part 2 – The Big Reveal

 

As you all know from my incessant instagram-storying I have been doing the F45 8-Week Challenge. If you missed out on why I have signed up for this rather full on exercise and nutrition challenge you can catch up here. I have been keeping a diary throughout my ordeal (sorry, I really did mean to say joyous experience) on the off chance that anyone who reads this feels inspired to take part next time and wants a thorough understanding of what is involved.

 

Week Five

After being rather naughty nutrition wise the weekend before in Sydney, I was right back to business this week. I trained six days, followed my meal plan almost exactly (more on that later) and made a concerted effort to drink enough water. Nutritionally, Week 5 was all about the bean, which meant, similarly to the week of the chickpea, I suffered from extreme bloating, a real lowlight.

On the weekend I went to Melbourne for the NGV Gala, which celebrated the opening of an exhibition dedicated to the house of Dior. A big bonus of being four weeks into the challenge was that I had lost enough weight to fit into my beautiful Simone Rocha dress. Given that I spent $500 on my ticket, I had a couple of champagne’s and ate about 10 little desserts and I didn’t feel bad about it for a second.

 

Week Six

After a second semi naughty weekend in a row, I was an F45 challenge saint. I followed the diet and pushed it hard in the gym. I definitely feel fitter and have been lifting heavier weights. I bought one of the heart rate monitors so that I can see how hard I am working each session, which the competitive side of me gets off on. Each week there is a day when the person who gets the most points (it calculates it based on your heart rate somehow) wins a t-shirt. It’s my secret dream to win one day.

 

Week Seven

After four weeks of being allowed to eat a few carbs, the last week of the challenge marked a return to carb-free eating in an attempt to send our bodies into ketogenesis. Our brain requires sugars to functions so the theory behind a ketogenic diet is that if we don’t give our bodies sugar (i.e. carbs) it will be forced to convert fat from our stores into sugars for our brain, thus reducing our fat.

Personally, I don’t think it’s a good idea to completely cut any food groups; but hey, I am giving this challenge a red hot go. The lack of carbs certainly left me feeling hungry again and also very emotional.

There have been a few a ‘themed’ nutrition weeks in this challenge. This carb free week was dedicated to halloumi. Don’t get me wrong, I love halloumi but this week really tested me. My body just couldn’t seem to process such vast quantities of squeaky cheese. On the Saturday I couldn’t even bring myself to eat dinner I was still so full from eating so much haloumi at breakfast.

 

Week Eight

This week has been the last week of the challenge! Intriguingly we weighed in Biggest Loser style on Wednesday which means that I have rather let things slide the rest of the week and had a celebration hot chocolate, banana pancakes and a piece of some blueberry gluten free cake hanging about at my work. Otherwise I have continued to follow my diet rather closely and work my butt off in the gym. I have been dreaming of all the things I will be able to eat again which is slightly concerning. I will have to be very careful to not let myself run riot.

 

The Results

So after all the tension and suspense that’s built up over my recap of my last four weeks I can reveal that I lost 7kg! And more importantly 4.2% body fat! Here are a few fun stats:

 

Before the Challenge

After the Challenge

74.5kg

67.5kg

37 % body fat

32.8 % body fat

Skeletal muscle mass 26.1kg Skeletal muscle mass 25.1kg

Chest 98cm

Chest 93.6cm

Abdomen 95.9cm

Abdomen 88.4cm

Hip 102cm

Hip 97.8cm

 

Before

 

After

 

You may recall that when I first started the challenge that the results of my body scan recommended to me that I lose 13.6kg to get back within a healthy weight range. Obviously I haven’t achieved that nor did I want to. My whole reason for doing the challenge was to get fitter, stronger, healthier and most importantly (and rather shallowly) to fit in my clothes.

 

Pros and Cons of the Challenge

 

Cons

  • It’s really fucking hard to follow such a restrictive diet. It does get easier as it goes on but still, its no walk in the park.
  • Meal prep took me a long time. I had to contend with my ridiculous schedule, my inability to cook, and my partner’s frustration at my always being in the kitchen, which made me generally resentful of the whole thing.
  • The diet is not sustainable. I do worry about how easy it will be to just go back to my old ways now that it’s all over. I have been doing a lot of thinking and planning around how I am going to maintain my health which hopefully I can maintain.
  • I struggled with feeling like an absolute twat every time I had to explain why I couldn’t have coffee with someone, or eat cake for someone’s birthday at work.

 

Pros

  • I lost weight, I feel more confident in my body and I fit in my clothes.
  • The challenge app was handy and easy to use. I particularly enjoyed earning points for my little daily checklist; it gave me immense satisfaction to mark them off.
  • Having to follow such a strict meal plan that was all laid out for me made it much easier to stay on track.
  • Sharing my exercise journey with you all made me feel more accountable and pushed me to keep going.

 

If you are keen to learn more about building a healthy lifestyle read our series which breaks everything down into manageable chunks.

If you are interested in getting into F45 Training check out their website for a location near you. All studios offer a free trial period so you can give it a go and see if it is right for you. I am loving mine in Gungahlin, everyone is lovely and super supportive.

 

Note: None of this content is sponsored or paid for in kind in any way.

Emma Batchelor

Emma Batchelor

As well as a near obsessive interest in fashion, Emma is a former scientist, occasional contemporary dancer, avid reader and self-confessed cat lady (she has three). Emma lived in Leiden in the Netherlands as a baby and Leiden ought to have been her middle name had her mother thought of it at the time and not chosen Louise instead.

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